This week’s blog is about nothing. Does that appear to be a precursor to the fact I really have nothing to write about. I confess. It is.
We are gearing up for a long holiday. Long, as in five weeks in length. Quite simply, my brain has gone into shut down. We have had dinner guests twice this week and the second time, I let George take over the kitchen. Thank the Gods of Kitchens that George can cook.
I love having guests over, but it is the ‘what to cook’ that always stresses me. My guests invariably sing my praises and no one has died – yet. Well apart from the time when I was very young (ie last month) and served up some beef that I roasted, only to find it was a boiling beef. To say eating that dinner was a mission, would be an understatement. The beef was dispatched into the bin and a quick trip to the nearest fast food outlet ensued. My cooking prowess fortunately did not damage the friendship, which remained firm for many years.
Back to our first dinner guests. Mrs Guest does not eat red meat or pork, but is one of the few who does not push her dietary requirements onto her hosts. She will eat other parts of the meal and that will suffice. Mr Guest humbly asked if we could please have roast pork. A dish he is often not served at home. Thank god I thought. Roast pork is my forte.
My secret to roast pork is to scour the rind into tiny squares with a very sharp knife (vegetarians, health nuts and others please blank out this paragraph). I then rub salt and oil into the rind. Insert copious pieces of garlic throughout the meat. Into the oven at 230 celsius for 20 minutes. Then I turn the oven down to 120 and cook for approximately 3 to 4 hours. Throw the veggies into the dish and turn the heat up to 180 for the last hour. Voila, your Sunday Roast, with melt in your mouth meat and crunchy crackling. Which is not restricted to Sundays. I could not be cruel to Mrs Guest and also served chicken.
Dessert was the conundrum. With a brain resembling a jellyfish the question was what to serve. When in the bakery section of the supermarket, this frugal old tart always checks the reduced bins. What did I spy in there? Hot Cross Buns – in July! For some reason my supermarket is still making Hot Cross Buns. Maybe the baker doesn’t realize the significance and season for Hot Cross Buns? I grabbed two packets of hot cross buns for my dessert. I hear your shudder. What fate did await my stale hot cross buns? None other than Bread and Butter pudding!
Keep this dessert in mind for next Easter for any leftover buns. Because they were stale, I left the 6 buns intact and just sliced across two buns at a time. Butter the slices and into a greased dish. Then a custard which I call 3/2/3 – ie 3 eggs beaten, add 2 tablespoons sugar and 3 cups of milk. Combine and pour over your buttered buns (the Easter ones). Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes and then bake at 160 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with a pouring cream. And there you have the most wonderful, simple dessert for a winters evening. No need for added spices or sultanas. it is all there.
Our remaining meals until we take to the skies? Believe me, they will not be anything to write home about. Jellyfish brain is here to stay for another week. By the time we have our first airplane meal, that will even look gourmet. Do you have times like this?